26th April 2024

Campaign Batting for Pavilion. A fundraising campaign for a new pavilion at Purton Cricket Club, in memory of mum Ainslie Duffell, inches closer to its target.

The fund was set up by cricket coach and Purton club member Phil Duffell. His wife Ainslie died in 2015, aged 47, following a long battle with breast cancer.

He and son Alex, 23, who also plays for Purton, discovered through reading her journals how sad she’d felt at not being able to get into the ground to watch the games, as her illness rendered her wheelchair-dependent.

A fund is set up

So, the Ainslie’s Pavilion fund was set up to raise an initial £50,000 to build the pavilion in her memory. It would, unlike the current building, be fully accessible. And also provide facilities for female players.

The fund now stands at £60,000. But Phil believes they’ll need £170,000 for the new timber-framed building, which will be sustainable, with solar panels and rainwater capture.

‘We launched the fund in 2015 and gave ourselves five years to raise an initial £50,000. We were doing well but then Covid hit and so we had to cancel a lot of stuff. Plus a lot of available grant money dried up,’ said Phil.

‘Added to that, building costs have risen. So all this means we have had to increase the amount needed, but I’m sure we’ll get there.’

Campaign Batting for Pavilion - Phil Duffell
Campaign Batting for Pavilion – Phil Duffell, speaking at the fundraising dinner organised by Scott Media, to mark the business’s 15th anniversary.

On the crease

… or in full support at any rate of Phil’s campaign, is Swindon PR consultancy Scott Media. MD Fiona Scott was a close friend of Ainslie’s.

Fiona’s fundraising endeavours, including an event in 2023 to mark her business’s fifteenth anniversary, have brought in around £8,000.

Fiona said: ‘It’s a real pleasure to help fundraise for the pavilion in my friend Ainslie’s memory. I can’t wait for the day when the new building is open. We can welcome everyone in and offer much improved facilities for female players.’

Phil said he felt bowled over by the help people have given – Fiona, in particular. ‘She’s the second most amazing woman I have met in my life, second only to Ainslie. Right from the beginning she’s been so invested in this.’

Phil added: ‘The current pavilion has no facilities for female players. And of course we’re trying to encourage more women into the sport, so the plans for our new building include female changing rooms. We’ve been liaising with experts at the England Cricket Board about the build. And their advice is for a wooden, modular building which keeps the cost down but which we can add to if we need to expand it.’

The next planned fundraiser will be a raffle for a bat signed by England opening batsman Zak Crawley. That’s a donation from cricket clothing and equipment retailer Gray-Nicolls.

For more about the raffle, the campaign, or to make a donation, contact Phil through Purton Cricket Club website at https://purton.play-cricket.com/home

Or email Phil at apa.duffell@btinternet.com

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